Christ Church Crest

Using the Library

Finding books

Using the catalogue you can find the shelfmarks of the books that you require. Plans of the Library showing the location of the various shelfmarks are available in the library.

SOLO is the online catalogue of the majority of Oxford’s electronic and printed library collections; it can be accessed from anywhere by visiting There is also a SOLO icon on all the computers within the Library. Staff will be happy to help with any problems.

Our catalogue provides the books’ shelfmarks, most of which begin with Roman numerals. Plans of the Library, showing the location of the various shelfmarks (with an accompanying alphabetical index of the classification scheme) can be found in the Entrance Hall.

Books with a shelfmark beginning with ‘J/’ are stored in the basement, a closed access stack, and can be fetched by Library staff during office hours (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Please ask at the desk in the Entrance Hall.

Borrowing books

Each book taken out must be recorded using the Self-Service machine in the Entrance Hall.


Undergraduates can borrow up to 20 books, including bound periodical volumes. Postgraduates can borrow up to 40 books. This generous limit is strictly enforced. Volumes marked with a red sticker on the spine are for reference only and cannot be borrowed. Unbound periodical parts are also confined to the Library at all times.

Students are responsible for the books they borrow until their return. Books must not be passed on to others without informing the Library. If a book is not returned, the cost of its replacement will be charged to the account of the student who borrowed it from the Library initially. Please protect library books from damage. The library may fine readers who return books annotated in ink or pencil, marked with Post-it notes or stained with food or liquid.

Returning books and fines

Books have a fixed return date at the end of term. A courtesy reminder will be sent when the books are due for return.  YOU WILL BE FINED AT A RATE OF 25p PER BOOK PER DAY FOR OVERDUE ITEMS. Any fines accrued are charged on Battels at the end of term.  Books also can be recalled at any point once a reader has had them for 7 days. Any student who fails to respond to a recall notice will be fined £1 per book per day. Bound periodicals, DVDs and music scores must be returned after 7 days. All items must be returned using the Self-Service machine in the Entrance Hall.


Items which are out on loan to another reader can be reserved by using the “Hold” button in SOLO. This simply means that the book will be reserved for you when it is next returned.  ITEMS REQUIRED URGENTLY CAN BE RECALLED BY A MEMBER OF STAFF, ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN ON LOAN FOR 7 DAYS.  THE BOOK SHOULD THEN BE RETURNED WITHIN THREE DAYS. In both cases, you will receive an email notifying you when the book becomes available.


Books can be renewed on the self-issue machine or using the patron functions on SOLO. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RENEW ITEMS ONCE THEY ARE OVERDUE. Please ask a member of staff to renew overdue books if you still need them. Items can be renewed a maximum of 3 times before they need to be returned to the Library. Persistent failure to return a book will result in the student in question being charged for the cost of its replacement plus a £5 administration fee. (If books which you think you have already returned appear on your record, please let us know. It is much easier to sort out problems early on!)

Book suggestions

If the Library appears to be lacking an important textbook, please suggest it for purchase either by using a suggestion slip, which can be found in the rotating display unit in the Entrance Hall, or by emailing and The Library aims to provide books for all examined courses taught by the College, and we try to buy all of the most important books on your reading lists. If you find that several of the books on a reading list are not available in the Library, please leave a copy of the complete list with a member of staff so that we can update and improve our holdings.

Copying, scanning and printing

The Library does not have a self-service photocopier, but copies of library materials can be requested from the staff. Photocopy request forms are found in the Entrance Hall. Copying charges will be made to battels (currently at the rate of 7p per A4 sheet).   We have a self-service scanner which allows students to send scanned pages via email or save them to a memory stick.  Regulations governing self-service photography of library material are detailed in the Blue Book.  There is currently no self-service printing available in the Library at the moment.


Members may take guests to see the Upper Library. Keep an eye on the posters and the library pages on the college website for details of the current exhibition. The Upper Library is open from Monday to Friday (from 9.30 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 4.30 pm), as long as there is a member of staff available upstairs. The working Library on the ground floor is reserved for college members only. Members may not bring friends into these rooms nor borrow books on their behalf.

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